Jess & Tom’s elegant rustic Cripps Barn wedding, with Martin Dabek Photography

Published by Claire Gould on

We’re thrilled to share this enchantingly autumnal wedding for a gorgeous couple in the Cotswolds. Jess & Tom had to postpone twice – their welcome sign tells quite a story! But their wedding, once it happened, is exceptionally beautiful. Jess is stunning in a dress from The Cotswolds Frock Shop, and Tom’s so handsome in his suit… although Albie almost steals the show with his little dog bow tie! All of the images are by Cotswolds wedding photographer Martin Dabek, who we’re proud to say is a member of English Wedding.

Wedding photographer’s website

How did you choose your photographer?

We read lots of reviews and used social media to get a feel for a variety of different local photographers. Our main priority however was to find a Cripps Barn wedding photographer that we would be happy to share our day with! We read Martin’s ‘A bit about me’ section on his website and instantly had a good feeling that we would get on due to our shared love of the outdoors, adventure and four legged friends! Of course we also loved his relaxed, natural and beautiful style that we really felt captured the best of all the emotions portrayed on your wedding day.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

We knew that Martin would make the photo experience fun, that our guests would feel comfortable and that we would come away with some stunning photographs. All of which were definitely true! On receiving our pictures our family and friends’ comments included ‘stunning’, ‘captured the day perfectly’, ‘what incredible colours’ and my favourite, ‘absolute bangers’. He was also so kind and positive throughout the numerous date changes. It was stressful at times, but his friendly and professional approach really helped to keep us going!

What’s your fondest memory of your wedding?

Sitting at the top table surrounded by twinkling lights in the most beautiful surroundings and seeing all of our favourite people laughing and having fun after so long apart and sitting around the fire pit together taking a minute to reflect on the most amazing day!

Another highlight: Venus, ‘the planet of love’, making a special appearance for us whilst sitting around the fire pit with Tom. We got very lucky with a clear night and lots of stars.

Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?

We loved Cripps Barn from the moment we walked in. It was only the second venue we viewed but we knew straight away that we didn’t need to go and look anywhere else! We wanted to get married in the countryside and the barns, beautiful rustic beams and roaring fireplace were big ticks for us! We both love the outdoors so it was important to be able to ‘bring the outside in’ as we wanted to create a woodland feel with lots of ferns, foliage and wild flowers. Cripps is the perfect venue for this, it is already so stunning that any decor just adds to the wow factor. We took inspiration from our Cotswold dog walks and the gorgeous outdoor area surrounding the barn. Having the option to sit with friends around a firepit and explore the grounds under twinkling fairy lights was also very appealing! Not forgetting the food. We are both foodies and the food at Cripps is really something special. There is such a diverse range of deliciousness to choose from and the way it is served on sharing platters and cooked in an open kitchen is different from anything we had seen before. We can’t wait to go back to one of their feast nights!

Did you love wearing your outfits? How was your shopping experience, was it fun to find your wedding gear?

My dress was by Allure Bridals and I got it from The Cotswold Frock Shop in Stow on The Wold. It was actually the last dress I tried on but I instantly fell in love with the champagne lace, statement buttons and shimmery sequins woven throughout. I had always fancied long sleeves and loved Kate Middleton’s classic lace dress she wore on her wedding day. My shoes were also from The Cotswold Frock Shop, although if I am honest I did spend most of the day in my sequin converse! My necklace and earrings were from a charity shop and were ‘my something blue’.
Tom’s suit was from Moss Brothers in Oxford. He wanted a hint of country chic opposed to anything too formal but still wanted to look smart. The boys also had matching three piece suits, but Tom opted for a different waistcoat and tie to compliment the warm tones of the season. The bridesmaids wore dresses from Little Mistress. We all really loved the warm dusty blue colour and the way the buttons and lace complemented Jess’s dress. They also delivered to Australia where one of Jess’s bridesmaids was living at the time.

Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness 🙂

Our flowers were from the very talented Beth at Go Wild Flowers. She did an absolutely incredible job and really managed to create exactly what we had in mind (and more). We had lots of mixed foliage including our favourite, ferns, mixed with dill, lisianthus,veronica, blue thistle, dahlia, berries, safari sunset and roses. They really did look absolutely stunning. Thank you Beth!

As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?

Our lovely friend Becca at ‘Willimonts Cakes’ made our delicious wedding cake for us. She created a two tier semi-naked cake with two different flavours; lemon, blueberry and white chocolate and carrot cake with orange frosting.

Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves (we love that stuff!)

Beth dressed the venue for us using woodland foliage and fairy lights for an overhead wheel on the ceiling of the barn and across the fireplace. We also designed our own centrepieces for the tables using blue Bombay Gin and Haig Club whiskey bottles, copper coloured glass containers, bark hearts, moss and vanilla candles. Beth kindly supplied wooden log slices to stand these on and wild flowers for the bottles. We kept the top trestle table rustic without a table cloth and instead opted for a foliage runner. All of the tables were named after our favourite forests across the UK. Jess and her dad also made a large frame for photo ops using moss and artificial flowers to compliment and we used rustic pallet boards to display some of our signage and as a container for blankets.

What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?

Chris Stapleton – Millionaire. It is a beautiful country song full of soul that we knew would sound incredible performed live. It was also on in the background when Tom proposed!

Favourite wedding suppliers

Venue- Cripps Barn, Cirencester,
Photographer- Martin Dabek,
Dress- Allure Bridal, The Cotswold Frock Shop, Stow on The Wold,
Suits- Moss Brothers, Oxford,
Albie’s bow tie (dog bow tie),
Flowers- Go Wild Flowers,
Band- The Fiction, Cotswold Band Hire,
Stationery- You Bloom, youbloom_art on Instagram, also available on Etsy
Slate table place settings- WholeCaboodleDesign,
Cake- Willimonts Cakes,

Hair by Fordham Hair Design

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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